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Borneo Rainforests & Villages Wildlife Safari

Amazing Ecosystems & Luxury Eco-Lodges

 

The island of Borneo offers an amazing range of ecosystems, from lush rainforests to pristine beaches, and is home to a magnificent display of rare and endangered wildlife. As you journey through Borneo on this unprecedented adventure, encounter orangutans, pygmy elephants, langurs, countless bird species, and more - and learn about their conservation efforts from our expert guides. Overnight in remote and luxurious eco-lodges, visit the Bajau Laut community, and take canopy walks through untouched Danum Valley. If you crave something new, head to Borneo!

  • Discover incredible rare and endangered wildlife, including the Bornean orangutan, in untouched old-growth rainforests

  • Enjoy unique safari experiences at dawn and observe animals cooling off riverside at dusk

  • Visit the Bajau Laut's famed stilt villages and learn about their fascinating semi-nomadic lifestyle

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Sandakan, Malaysian Borneo

Depart:

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo

Price: from $7,495

Duration:

11 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

4-14 Guests

Min Age:

8 yrs

Activity:

Level 2

You will enjoy leisurely walks every day of up to 5 miles through animal and nature reserves and virgin rainforest. There will also be opportunities to swim and snorkel.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Arrive in Borneo

    Day 1

    Welcome to Sandakan, a bustling city in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo! The island is divided into three countries - Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia - but your visit will focus on Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. Meet an MT Sobek representative at the airport and then transfer to the Sepilok Nature Resort, where you receive a brief orientation and a welcome dinner in the evening.

    Accommodation: Sepilok Nature Resort-Sepilok, Malaysia

    Sepilok Nature Resort is a luxurious outpost beside the world-renowned Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Wild orangutans reside in the backyard of this tranquil property, and the sounds of wildlife serenade guests day and night. Jungle bungalows combine beautiful organic architecture with high-end comforts. Enjoy tremendous service and comfort on the property while a rich wildlife experience lies mere steps away.

    Transportation: 30-minute private van transfer

    Meals: Dinner

  • Visit the Sepilok Forest Reserve

    Day 2

    Today begin by visiting the Sun Bear Center for a private tour with the project coordinator. Next head to the amazing facilities at Sepilok Forest Reserve and watch the morning feeding at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. After enjoying lunch back at the lodge, visit the Rainforest Discovery Center and learn about the rainforest ecosystem as you search for wildlife. Return to the lodge this evening for dinner and some relaxation.

    Accommodation: Sepilok Nature Resort-Sepilok, Malaysia

    Sepilok Nature Resort is a luxurious outpost beside the world-renowned Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve. Wild orangutans reside in the backyard of this tranquil property, and the sounds of wildlife serenade guests day and night. Jungle bungalows combine beautiful organic architecture with high-end comforts. Enjoy tremendous service and comfort on the property while a rich wildlife experience lies mere steps away.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Kinabatangan River

    Day 3

    Take a boat journey to the Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort, a beautiful eco-resort offering a wide range of jungle activities. At 340 miles long, the Kinabatangan River has Borneo's highest concentration of fauna, enabling you to see some local residents, including orangutans, pygmy elephants, silver leaf langurs, hornbills, and proboscis monkeys. After lunch, take a hike and then head out for a river cruise at dusk - the best way to view the amazing wildlife that comes down to the banks come evening. Later, take a walk in search of more nocturnal wildlife.

    Accommodation: Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort-Kinabatangan, Malaysia

    Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is an organically constructed resort combining modern luxury with a beautiful location, built in the middle of a nature sanctuary. The surrounding wetlands have a tremendously rich ecosystem with a wide range of rare species. Boasting comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and great service, this jungle retreat is a modern pearl in the middle of an ageless forest.

    Transportation: 1.5-hour boat journey

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Cruise the Kinabatangan River at Dawn & Dusk

    Day 4

    Watch the sunrise during an early-morning river safari cruise. Back on land, stop in a local village where you are treated to a home-cooked breakfast and learn about the Orang Sungai's culture. Return to the lodge for lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon away from the hot sun. At dusk, board a riverboat for a cruise to view more nocturnal wildlife while they are feeding.

    Accommodation: Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort-Kinabatangan, Malaysia

    Kinabatangan Wetlands Resort is an organically constructed resort combining modern luxury with a beautiful location, built in the middle of a nature sanctuary. The surrounding wetlands have a tremendously rich ecosystem with a wide range of rare species. Boasting comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and great service, this jungle retreat is a modern pearl in the middle of an ageless forest.

    Transportation: 2-3 hours river cruising in morning & 2-hours cruising in afternoon

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Journey to the Beautiful Danum Valley

    Day 5

    En route to the Danum Valley today, stop to explore Gomantong Caves, the region's largest limestone outcropping and home to serpent eagles, kingfishers, and Asian fairy bluebirds. Take a short trek to the giant cave opening, where millions of bats and swiftlets roost, and spot orangutans and red leaf langurs in the surrounding area. Continue to the five-star lodge in Danum Valley, a protected swath of rainforest where 320 different species of trees are found in just two acres! This evening, head out for a night safari in search of hunting mammals in the open areas along the roads.

    Accommodation: Borneo Rainforest Lodge-Danum Valley, Malaysia

    Borneo Rainforest Lodge seamlessly combines the indoor with the outdoor, and the wild with the refined. Airy, open-beam common areas make for comfortable meeting places, while beautifully appointed guest rooms have modern amenities, outdoor soaking tubs, and balconies. Canopy walkways connect lodge to rainforest, where you can view an incredible variety of wildlife, such as orangutans, gibbons, and countless birds.

    Transportation: 5-hour boat and vehicle transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Walk Under the Rainforest Canopy

    Day 6

    Rise and shine! Wake up early this morning for a canopy walk before breakfast. For the remainder of the morning, explore the forest, looking for birds and primates from the many trails and canopy walks that radiate from the lodge. Around noon, join your guide for a spectacular hike to a nearby waterfall, where you can take a refreshing dip in the rock pools. After dinner, take a night hike, exploring the forest and its nocturnal residents.

    Accommodation: Borneo Rainforest Lodge-Danum Valley, Malaysia

    Borneo Rainforest Lodge seamlessly combines the indoor with the outdoor, and the wild with the refined. Airy, open-beam common areas make for comfortable meeting places, while beautifully appointed guest rooms have modern amenities, outdoor soaking tubs, and balconies. Canopy walkways connect lodge to rainforest, where you can view an incredible variety of wildlife, such as orangutans, gibbons, and countless birds.

    Activity: 3-5 miles walking with 500' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Spot Wildlife & Swim in the Danum River

    Day 7

    Enjoy another relaxing day exploring this amazing forest and searching for orangutans, gibbons, and possibly a herd of elephants. Your trip leader guides you on walks through the forest and takes you for a refreshing swim in the Danum River.

    Accommodation: Borneo Rainforest Lodge-Danum Valley, Malaysia

    Borneo Rainforest Lodge seamlessly combines the indoor with the outdoor, and the wild with the refined. Airy, open-beam common areas make for comfortable meeting places, while beautifully appointed guest rooms have modern amenities, outdoor soaking tubs, and balconies. Canopy walkways connect lodge to rainforest, where you can view an incredible variety of wildlife, such as orangutans, gibbons, and countless birds.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Take a Scenic Trip to Pom Pom Island

    Day 8

    Embark on a journey to Semporna, the gateway to Borneo's beautiful east coast islands, then on to Pom Pom Island, known for its sandy beach and coral reef. The island's lack of a village makes your two-day visit even more special, as you stay at an eco-resort committed to minimizing human impact. Check into the resort and enjoy lunch before spending the rest of the day relaxing, snorkeling, or diving the island's famous reef. Enjoy your private cabin (with its own covered porch and optional air conditioning) and the spa.

    Accommodation: Pom Pom Island Resort

    This resort recently earned a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor for consistently earning great reviews from its guests. This is a private resort in a gorgeous setting with a healthy population of marine life and offers world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities. The resort has its own private beach, complete with comfortable water villas. There is a delicious onsite Malaysian restaurant, and a variety of juices, snacks and other refreshments readily available help enjoy the water, sun, and seascape.

    Transportation: 4-hour private van transfer & 1-hour boat transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Tun Sakaran Marine Park & Visit the Bajau Laut

    Day 9

    Spend the day exploring the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, a natural preserve consisting of eight islands. While there, visit the traditional Bajau Laut villages and learn about their fascinating culture. The Bajau Laut are one of the last nomadic seafarers in Southeast Asia, and their houses are made of simple wooden huts on stilts - built in the middle of the ocean! Snorkel on pristine reefs and soak up some sun, too.

    Accommodation: Pom Pom Island Resort

    This resort recently earned a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor for consistently earning great reviews from its guests. This is a private resort in a gorgeous setting with a healthy population of marine life and offers world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities. The resort has its own private beach, complete with comfortable water villas. There is a delicious onsite Malaysian restaurant, and a variety of juices, snacks and other refreshments readily available help enjoy the water, sun, and seascape.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Fly to Kota Kinabalu

    Day 10

    Check out of the beautiful resort and depart Pom Pom Island to board the speedboat back to Semporna. From there, drive to Tawau Airport for your flight to the coastal city of Kota Kinabalu on the South China Sea. Upon arrival, transfer to the Jesselton Hotel, a modern and elegant accommodation reminiscent of the colonial era. The afternoon is free to relax or explore the city. Choose from visiting its vibrant markets, strolling along the boardwalk, or lounging on the beach. Gather with the group tonight for a festive farewell dinner.

    Accommodation: Jesselton Hotel-Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

    The oldest hotel in Kota Kinabalu, the Jesselton is a colonial gem. Well-appointed guest rooms include WiFi and modern en-suite bathrooms, while elegant decor, excellent service, and a fine restaurant round out the experience. The Jesselton Hotel is conveniently located near most major attractions, with restaurants, shops, and the Sunday market all within walking distance.

    Transportation: 1-hour boat transfer & 1-hour vehicle transfer & 1-hour flight transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Borneo

    Day 11

    After breakfast, bid farewell to Borneo and transfer to the airport for your homeward-bound flights.

    Meals: Breakfast

Borneo Rainforests & Villages Wildlife Safari

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

This trip uniquely combines wildlife viewing with an island visit for snorkeling, beach time and the Bajau Laut!

Reason #02

With expert guides leading the way, you'll enjoy the fun of a Kinabatangan River cruise and spot orangutans in the Danum Valley.

Reason #03

The day's pace is perfect, enjoying nature at dawn and dusk - its most active hours - with plenty of time to swim or rest in between.

Meet your guides

Charlie Ryan

Charlie Ryan

Charlie's passion for outdoor adventure, traveling, and nature has been strong his entire life. Hawaii's lush jungles first caught his attention, Central America's rainforests broadened his horizons and, finally, he found Borneo. Well-rounded in the ecology of the Bornean rainforest, he is experienced with species identification of mammals, birds, amphibians, and snakes. He has strong leadership abilities and is comfortable in any situation. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid and has a good understanding of wilderness survival. Charlie lives in Borneo, speaks Bahasa Malay, and has strong connections with people working to save this beautiful region.

Dean Jais

Dean Jais

Not many people can say they've introduced the royal couple to an orangutan and her baby, but Dean can! Fueled by a curious personality, with the jungle as his classroom, Dean started guiding in his late teens. From nature novice to jungle guru, Dean quickly excelled, which led him to win the esteemed Best Specialized Tour Guide award at The Sabah Tourism Awards in 2015. His knowledge and passion for the rainforest are contagious when traveling with him. Meet Dean on MT Sobek's Wild Borneo adventure.

Activities

Rainforest wildlife walks, waterfall hikes, swimming, snorkeling, river cruising, and cultural touring - plus incredible orangutan-watching opportunities.

Lodging

Remote and luxurious eco-lodges and eco-resorts, allowing you to access some of the most rare and endangered wildlife on the planet.

Climate

Temperatures stay around 80F year round, with an average of 80% humidity. Expect quick changes in weather and be prepared for rain.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

Our MT Sobek representative will meet you at the Sandakan International Airport.

Do I need a visa for Borneo?

No, American citizens do not need a visa for Malaysian Borneo.

How do I get to Sandakan?

Connect through Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. The main airlines that fly to Borneo from the U.S. are Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia.

If I want to arrive early, should I stay an extra night in Kota Kinabalu or Sandakan?

We recommend flying into Kota Kinabalu, as there is more to do. You could then take a one-way flight to Sandakan to start the trip.

Do I need to bring leech socks and what are they?

Our guide will provide them for you. They are first line defense to fend off forest leech, a.k.a. little blood suckers.

What kind of wildlife will I see on this trip?

Although we cannot guarantee sightings, Borneo's rainforest is teeming with animals. You have very high chances to see orangutans, proboscis monkeys, langurs, macaques, hornbills, and much more.

Does this trip contribute to any local conservation efforts?

Yes! This trip helps support a local foundation that funds community projects in the village of Sayap. Palm oil is a main source of income in this area, which contributes to deforestation. The foundation's community projects provide skill training and jobs for locals to replace traditional palm oil plantations.

2022

Scheduled Dates

  • Jun 18 - 28, 2022
    $7,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$125 internal airfare+$1,225 single supplement
    Available
  • Jul 31 - Aug 10, 2022
    $7,595 price per person dbl occ
    +$125 internal airfare+$1,225 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2021 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $9,095 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $8,695 per person double occupancy

8 to 14 guests from $8,095 per person double occupancy

2022 Pricing

4 to 5 guests from $8,395 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $7,995 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $7,795 per person double occupancy

10 guests from $7,595 per person double occupancy

	

Take Over One of These Dates

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.